Tuesday 26 June 2018

Book review and interview: “Left Bank” by Agnès Poirier

The ancient heart of Paris gives its name to a recently published book by writer and journalist Agnès Poirier, but rather than the history, geography or architecture of the district, it is an extraordinary period in its life in the middle of the twentieth century, and more particularly on a cast of fascinating characters that take centre stage.

If the Left Bank of Paris had already (re)developed artistic and cultural relevance in the 1920s and 30s, it is the period between 1940 and 1950 that Poirier convincingly argues was the era when the rive gauche truly played a world-changing role. At the heart of the book – which she describes as being neither a work of fiction nor an academic analysis, but rather a “reconstruction, a collage of images, a kaleidoscope of destinies” – are two extremely magnetic poles; Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
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